Scotland: Food poisoning
feared at conference centre
Source of Article: http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Food-poisoning-feared-at-conference.4764781.jp
Date: 05 December 2008
By John Ross
DOZEN business people have suspected food poisoning after a visit to a
leading conference centre.
Nine ambulances and eight police cars were sent to
Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to collect the victims, who were
isolated after the incident and required hospital treatment.
Six men and six women were taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary suffering from
vomiting and diarrhoea, while some also showed
signs of "blotchiness and swelling of the glands".
They had been eating at the AECC restaurant, used exclusively by business
people, which was immediately closed while investigations were carried out by
public health teams.
Those affected were believed to be part of a local company which had been
using a meeting room at the venue.
A specialist fire officer who deals with hazardous substances was also at the
site, with police officers on guard.
A spokesman for the AECC said those affected had been eating in the Gallery
Restaurant when they became ill. The food was not available to the general
public and had only been consumed by guests using some of the conference
suites. No staff were affected.
He said: "Investigations are under way to determine what happened."
The spokesman said the restaurant kitchen was closed while those who had
fallen ill were taken for treatment.
He added the incident would not affect last night's sell-out concert at the
centre by the rock band Stereophonics.
"None of the public areas is affected, and all planned events are going
ahead as scheduled," he said.
NHS Grampian confirmed the incident "may be food related".
Public health department staff, along with colleagues from
the city council's environmental health department, were carrying out
investigations at the conference centre.
The health service said: "Twelve patients, six male and six female, were
admitted at 3:15pm to the accident and emergency department, Aberdeen Royal
Infirmary, suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea.
"NHS Grampian's public health department are investigating
with colleagues from the environmental health department of Aberdeen City
Council. It is believed the incident may be food related. Environmental
health officers are visiting the AECC."
The centre holds a range of conferences and sporting and music events. Its
main arena can cater for 8,500 people standing or 4,700 seated.
It also has a hall capable of holding 2,000 people, two 700-seat
multi-purpose suites, a 440-seat auditorium and conference and meeting rooms.